Two friends say they are extremely lucky after spending almost ten hours in the Albemarle Sound after their small sailboat capsized during a storm.
Bruce Wachob and Linda Barnes left from Albemarle Beach in Washington County around 3:30 p.m., planning to sail around for about an hour in their 12-foot Sunfish. But within a half hour the two say winds picked up, changed directions and they saw a dust storm in the distance. By 4:15 p.m. they decided to sail toward Edenton, but 15 minutes later waves had capsized their boat.
At first the two didn't have life jackets, but Wachob was able to pull them from the overturned boat. The two said they hung on the side of the boat for about three hours during the storm with lightning, heavy rain and big waves hitting them. They say finally by dusk the winds had calmed down enough that they were able to climb on the bottom of the boat.
Wachob and Barnes didn't tell anyone of their outing, but fortunately a neighbor saw them leave and called authorities when the two did not return. Around 2:00 a.m. a Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Elizabeth City spotted the two and rescued them.
The two friends tell WITN News they plan to go out again on the sound in the Sunfish, but the next time will make sure someone knows of their plans as well as put cell phones in their dry bag and carry flashing strobe lights, just in case.
The search for two missing boaters from Washington County has ended in a rescue, according to the Coast Guard.
Coast Guard crews rescued Bruce Wachob, 49, and Linda Barnes, 63, at 1:54 a.m after their sailboat capsized. The couple was found five miles northeast of where they initially launched their 12-foot Sunfish Monday around 4 p.m.
The couple's neighbor reported the two missing around 8 p.m.
Helicopter crews lifted Barnes from the water, while a rescue boat crew helped Wachob tow the boat to shore.
Barnes was taken to Air Station Elizabeth City with no medical concerns.
The NC Coast Guard is searching for a man and woman from Washington county, after they went out on a boat in the Albemarle Sound and never returned.
Officials with the North Carolina Coast Guard say that people saw Bruce Wachob, who is believed to be 49-years old, and 63-year-old Linda Barnes head out in a 12-foot Sunfish Monday afternoon near Albemarle Beach in Washington County.
The couple was last seen in the south side of the Albemarle Sound heading north toward the Edenton area.
The NC Coast Guard along with NC Wildlife are actively searching in the overnight hours by boat, and the Coast Guard plans to send out a helicopter after day breaks. Washington County and Chowan County officials are also working on the case.
The Coast Guard says they doesn't know where Wachob and Barnes were headed or what their intentions were.
The boat they are searching for has a green and white sail with a number 44 on it.